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Patent

Research Shows More Innovation under a Joint Chairman/CEO

March 15, 2013

Many of us know people who struck it rich in an IPO and then decided to retire or take time off. If a percentage of people in a company decide to leave the organization when it decides to go public, it is logical to conclude that innovation at the organization will begin to slow.

A new study by Stanford’s Shai Bernstein involved extensive analysis of patents from nearly 2,000 companies and discovered the patents at public firms were more incremental than those at private firms. In order to determine the value of a patent she analyzed the amount of times a patent application was cited in other applications.

Chinese Government Funds Global Telecom Roll Outs Through ZTE

December 20, 2012

With global uncertainty the norm, many carriers have struggled to get financing for new infrastructure projects and in fact they have been a bit hesitant to spend on areas other than wireless where ROI is much more predictable. Subsequently, the financial challenges facing Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks, ZTE and others aren’t expected to dissipate any time soon. What may be a surprise to some though is how ZTE, a Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer with relatively low costs could have lost $414 in Q3 of this year while seeing sales drop by 13% and gross margins cut in half.

In response to this decline, China Development Bank (CDB) an entity controlled by the Chinese government has given the company a $20B line of credit at very low rates allowing it to streamline operations, continue its expansion and perhaps most importantly finance its customers’ purchases.

Amazon's Evolving Views on Patents

October 18, 2012

In the 1990 patent suits in tech were quite infrequent but today, there is more news on international patents than just about any other tech news category. That’s why I thought this research note from the Yankee Group was worth sharing. Bezos is certainly not the only person to have a concern about a behavior he once espoused but he certainly benefited from such behavior in a spectacular way.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, isn’t keeping it a secret that he isn’t a fan of the seemingly constant patent lawsuits happening today.

Are Apple's Patent Lawsuits Dead Right?

August 30, 2012

I have often referred to patents between large tech firms as mutually assured destruction as any of these companies can sue others with a slew of patent infringements at once, counting on a few to be upheld by a court. And this is what happened with Apple and Samsung where the Korean phone maker and tech giant was found to have willfully copied Apple’s trade dress meaning the look and feel of the device – among other things like pinching to zoom.

Jason Perlow at ZDnet points us to a good video from Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, on the topic of patents and trademarks in the food industry. It is boring but useful if you want to learn more.

Not So Fast - Yes We Should Protect Innovation

August 20, 2012


The tech news of the day includes Google using its Motorola Mobility patents to sue Apple. Patent suits aren’t new but we are getting to a point where the news flow relating to patent litigation seems to be overshadowing the news relating to new products. The cost of these suits isn’t trivial and there is risk of significant distraction for all the companies involved. It seems like the industry would benefit from a tech patent truce.

V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai - Did He Invent E-Mail or Not?

February 23, 2012

I have to admit that I had never heard of V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai prior to meeting him recently in Boston just prior to the video interview below. But he and his PR firm told me he had invented e-mail – with the proof being in-part a copyright from 1982 relating to electronic mail. He spent a few years building this email system which he says were more or less the evolution of text messaging systems which existed at the time.

Google+ Growth, Dropbox Killer: Google IS the Tech News

February 9, 2012

Google has entrenched itself is so many areas of tech they have become the technology news of the day. First off, Google+ growth has been nothing short of fantastic, in part because the company has altered search results to put more emphasis on this social network. Every SEO/SEM professional has had no choice in the past few months to get up to speed on the latest social network from the search giant. And this in part is the reason why it has half the unique visitors of Twitter according to web traffic tracking site Compete.

Innovation Speed = (Moore's Law*Metcalfe's Law)/Patent Lawsuit Activity

January 25, 2012

Yesterday I was engaged in a conversation with TMC senior editor Peter Bernstein and we were discussing the pace of innovation and whether there is some formula which can explain how much more quickly things are happening today. Interestingly I also had a conversation today with TMC webmaster and author Robert Hashemian where we were going over Apple’s earnings and how fast mobile leadership has changed – from Motorola to Nokia to Motorola to Microsoft to RIM to Apple to Google. And all these massive marketshare swings took place more or less in the last decade.

Back to the discussion with Peter – my takeaway from the conversation (I feel he has a slightly different opinion which hopefully he will expound upon in the future) is that Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law working together are accelerating innovation and lubricating new business models. Obviously email is just one tool which has benefitted from these laws – think about how you can now create and respond to virtually all your email from a smartphone now.

With Rypple Acquisition Salesforce on Track to be Cloud-Based Oracle

December 16, 2011

In the early nineties I was and SQL programmer in a market dominated by companies like Oracle and Informix. At the time these database companies stuck to their core competency. Fast forward a few decades and Oracle sells software in virtually every space. Moreover they are a revenue generating machine as they have gobbled up so many companies; there are few other choices in the market.

Google Pays Half Million Per Patent for Motorola Mobility

August 16, 2011

Google just purchased patents as part the acquisition of Motorola Mobility – 24,500 of them to be exact. At a $12.5B valuation that puts the value per patent at $510,204 apiece. But the search giant also gets 19,000 employees on top of the 29,000 it already has.

The question is does Google want these employees or to manage a business which is so different from software and advertising that it makes your head spin.

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